We heavily (and still increasingly) rely on RFID in our library. Currently only in the area of self-service and to a lesser degree for theft (rather and without irony “forgetfulness”) control. In the future it’s very likely that it will also be used for patron authentication/authorization. Also, in recent years an ever increasing number of libraries seem to be starting with (or switching from barcode/magnet stripes-based to) RFID-based self-service.
So I wonder if the topic on Folio’s agenda, maybe in the SIG’s Resource Access and User Management. Neither here in the forum (just 1 somewhat close hit) nor in the wiki (maybe three times) RFID is really mentioned. Did I look at the wrong places or is it not topic at all (and why)? While this is already the whole question, maybe I best try to say some words why it appears to be an important topic for me.
In respect to items there exists a standard (ISO 28560). It’s described in the easily accessible document RFID Data Model for Libraries (PDF).
In respect to Folio and service desk circulation it might (the big question) be easy to later write an App that manages the circulation process and the RFID reading/writing. But since our current third party solution (which pretty much only does some screen scraping) is a pain, I wonder, if solutions/workflows might not better be considered at an earlier (than 3rd party vendors) stage. Actually I would think that RFID and self-service (another topic I only find very little information on) should not be considered a 3rd party matter but something quite essential in library services today. We got the standard(s), the RFID hardware is available in any shop and Folio has the required information for the circulation process.
(I italized service desk circulation because currently it greatly differs from self-service circulation which uses additional protocols like SIP. I assume Folio might allow for something like an “autonomous circulation” workflow that works like that out of the box).
In respect to library cards RFID are an interesting option, too. Especially for self service. At the foliodays in Bremen (few days ago) me and a colleague (who is actually much more in the RFID matter) wondered, why barcodes still seem to be favored as a primary patron identifier and the UID of an RFID card isn’t even mentioned (since time ran out, we couldn’t ask). The UID is worldwide unique and - unlike a barcode - cannot be forged (as to my current understanding at least). This makes it a great option for a passwordless self-service (some libraries already allow passwordless checkouts with library card barcodes, but that seems to be a bit easy to fake).
In the matter of online login typing a UID would be a no-go. But on the other hand, forcing people to type 10+ number barcodes always has been a bad idea, too. I hope Folio will allow “soft” (contrary to a physical id card) identifier’s for login like the patrons email or (if lacking that) some username like last name + date.
There is probably much more to the topic. For example, some libraries with our “old ILS” also already considered the idea of using the UID instead of barcodes for items too. This is something (again because of the UID uniqueness) being interesting for Inter-library loan (ILL). It might be even more interesting with some kind of federated Folio ILL-Workflows. Well, ok, this really might be getting ahead of it a bit.
Anyway, I’m really not sure if I’m maybe be on the wrong track when I expect to find a lot more on topics like RFID and self-service. I occasionally considered asking this question before but felt like I probably missed some obvious specific information about it somewhere else or that I lack the conceptual understanding of Folio or the answer simply would be something like “it’s too early for that”. Well, now I asked…